Who’s afraid of gender? Judith Butler talk at LSE (20 March 2024)

“From a global icon, Judith’s book is an account of how a fear of gender is fuelling reactionary politics around the world. Judith Butler, the ground-breaking philosopher whose work has redefined how we think about gender and sexuality, confronts the attacks on gender that have become central to right-wing movements today. Global networks have formed ‘anti-gender ideology movements’ dedicated to circulating a fantasy that gender is a dangerous threat to families, local cultures, civilization – and even ‘man’ himself. Inflamed by the rhetoric of public figures, this movement has sought to abolish reproductive justice, undermine protections against violence, and strip trans and queer people of their rights. But what, exactly, is so disturbing about gender? In this vital, courageous book, Butler carefully examines how ‘gender’ has become a phantasm for emerging authoritarian regimes, fascist formations and trans-exclusionary feminists, and the concrete ways in which this phantasm works. It is an intervention into one of the most fraught issues of our moment, Who’s Afraid of Gender? is a call to make a broad coalition with all those who struggle for equality and fight injustice.”

On the term “randomista”

Sophie Webber and Carolyn Prouse (2018, p. 169, footnote 1) write:

Randomistas is a slang term used by critics to describe proponents of the RCT methodology. It is almost certainly a gendered, derogatory term intended to flippantly dismiss experimental economists and their success, particularly Esther Duflo, one of the most successful experts on randomization.” [Emphasis original.]

References

Sophie Webber and Carolyn Prouse (2018). The New Gold Standard: The Rise of Randomized Control Trials and Experimental Development. Economic Geography, 94(2), 166–187.

Privilege hazard

“The problems of gender and racial bias in our information systems are complex, but some of their key causes are plain as day […]. When data teams are primarily composed of people from dominant groups, those perspectives come to exert outsized influence on the decisions being made—to the exclusion of other identities and perspectives. This is not usually intentional; it comes from the ignorance of being on top. We describe this deficiency as a privilege hazard.”

– Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein (2020). Data feminism. MIT Press.

 

Defy them all

“These internal tyrants, whether they be in the form of public opinion or what will mother say, or brother, father, aunt, or relative of any sort; what will Mrs. Grundy, Mr. Comstock, the employer, the Board of Education say? All these busybodies, moral detectives, jailers of the human spirit, what will they say? Until woman has learned to defy them all, to stand firmly on her own ground and to insist upon her own unrestricted freedom, to listen to the voice of her nature, whether it call for life’s greatest treasure, love for a man, or her most glorious privilege, the right to give birth to a child, she cannot call herself emancipated. How many emancipated women are brave enough to acknowledge that the voice of love is calling, wildly beating against their breasts, demanding to be heard, to be satisfied.”

—Emma Goldman (1911), The Tragedy of Woman’s Emancipation

Emma Goldman on equal rights

“The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved. Indeed, if partial emancipation is to become a complete and true emancipation of woman, it will have to do away with the ridiculous notion that to be loved, to be sweetheart and mother, is synonymous with being slave or subordinate. It will have to do away with the absurd notion of the dualism of the sexes, or that man and woman represent two antagonistic worlds.”

“.. woman’s freedom is closely allied with man’s freedom, and many of my so-called emancipated sisters seem to overlook the fact that a child born in freedom needs the love and devotion of each human being about him, man as well as woman. Unfortunately, it is this narrow conception of human relations that has brought about a great tragedy in the lives of the modern man and woman.”

From over there.